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4 Things Your Pain Management Program May Be Missing

Posted on November 08, 2019 in Active Aging, Health and Wellness, Rehabilitation

When we’re in significant pain, we’re usually willing to try just about anything to make it stop.

At one end of the spectrum is the do-it-yourself approach, applying ice to the painful area and taking over-the-counter painkillers. This does little to treat the cause of pain, and overuse of these medications can cause stomach, kidney or liver issues.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have opioid painkillers and surgery. While often necessary, they come with a host of risks including side effects, surgical complications and addiction. Not everyone is comfortable with those risks, and many may be looking for alternative options.

Between both ends of this spectrum lies a broad range of treatment options to reduce pain and resolve its underlying causes. Pain management programs should always take a comprehensive approach to consider all possible ways to provide relief. Unfortunately, insurance companies too often dictate a course of treatment, and many clinicians aren’t always given enough time with patients to explore options.

If this sounds familiar, consider these four things your pain management program may be missing:

Correction of postural misalignments

We naturally – sometimes unconsciously – compensate for pain by adjusting the movements that cause it. For instance, a limp caused by knee pain may create back problems because of the new ways the body is distributing its weight. These compensations often cause our posture to become misaligned. Without correcting these changes to our posture, pain and other issues may not be resolved.

Gait, balance and movement assessments

Like postural misalignments, changes in our walking pattern and balance can be caused by compensating for pain. If a pain management program is not assessing functional movement and balance as treatment progresses, a key element to recovery is lost.

Aquatic therapy

When physical therapy is needed, the thought of moving through the pain often stops people before they start. Enter aquatic therapy. In warm, soothing water the weight on joints is reduced, decreasing or even eliminating the pain commonly associated with therapy.

Following an injury or surgery, range of motion and weight bearing exercises can begin sooner in the pool without causing undue stress to the healing tissues and bones. For these reasons, aquatic therapy can also be ideal for people with chronic illness who have a difficult time exercising on land. Individuals with conditions including chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, neuromuscular conditions and more can experience a host of benefits from exercise in water.

Education on self-administered pain reduction methods

Pain management isn’t something that only happens in a clinic. Several techniques can, and should, be done at home to provide continued relief and comfort. Sometimes, little to no education on these methods is provided by pain management clinicians.

Pain relief practices that can be done at home include trigger point pressure, foam rolling, therapeutic taping, use of TENS (mild electrical stimulation), breathing techniques, guided imagery, meditation and relaxation techniques presented from a mindfulness framework.

Adding these missing elements to your pain management program

Therapeutic pain management can complement your current pain treatment regimen.

The Veale Wellness & Aquatic Center at Ohio Living Breckenridge Village offers a multifaceted approach to pain management. Physical and occupational therapists and clinicians are pain experts. With the latest equipment and therapy techniques, we focus on helping you get back to your active lifestyle.

Our evidence-based customized therapy is safe, effective and designed to complement your current pain management program. It is also covered through insurance for physical and occupational therapy. Consider us for these five reasons:

Easy access

Did you know that you have your choice of therapy providers? You’re not limited to your doctor’s affiliates. Just bring your therapy prescription that’s less than 30 days old and we will get you started down the path to recovery. Adults 18+ are welcome, and younger patients may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. All people in the greater Cleveland area have access to the program. Ohio Living Breckenridge Village’s location is both convenient and accessible, with parking adjacent to the therapy entrance. Additionally, the quiet campus provides a relaxing and comforting environment conducive to recuperation.

Root cause discovery

We take the time to do a thorough evaluation of each patient to discover the root cause of the pain. Some of the underlying causes of pain include postural abnormalities, structural issues, gait imbalances, pinched nerves and more. We work to decrease spasms, pain and swelling so that therapy can be successful.

Personal attention

Our professional clinicians offer personalized, one-on-one care to help you achieve the best possible outcomes. You’ll never be left alone to do your therapy while your therapist works with someone else. Our licensed physical and occupational therapy team will develop a personalized plan for recovery using state-of-the-art equipment and innovative, therapeutic techniques to improve your quality of life. 

Mind-body connection

To properly address pain, we must also address its psychosocial impact. Our autonomic or “automatic” nervous system can overreact to pain, making symptoms even worse! Our occupational therapist is also a licensed professional counselor who specializes in the use of mindfulness to address pain. Through breathing techniques, meditation, guided imagery, and mindfulness relaxation the “automatic” responses to pain can be dampened, allowing other treatments to succeed.

We encourage you to look at what therapeutic pain management at the Veale Wellness & Aquatic Center can offer you. Let us be your expert, so you can get back to enjoying life. Call us at 440.942.4358 to learn more.

pain management, aging well, wellness, healthy